Tropical Fish make for great pets with their amazing colour, size and shape variations, not to mention the different behaviours and rituals they show. Some are great as a single specimen, others are better in shoals, some are friendly and some not so friendly! But they all add a little something. Passive community fish are friendly and as a result the easiest to keep plus they have the most variety among tropical fish meaning you are spoilt for choice in terms of what species to put together. Boisterous community fish mean treat with caution as they don’t get along with any fish but you will still have a decent number of options. Aggressive fish are ones to look out for, they often have to be kept alone or with other similarly sized and similarly aggressive species.
- Tropical Community Fish – These fish are friendly and in fact prefer to be kept in groups of 3-5 and sometimes more! They mix well with other community fish and given enough space and correct water parameters they will thrive. These are possibly the most varied group of aquarium fish when it comes to colour, size and shape. Keeping them is easier compared to specialist community fish.
- South & Central American Cichlids – These fish are popular due to their larger size and interesting parental behaviour. Considered semi-aggressive they should be mixed with similar sized SA and CA Cichlids, however, some of the less aggressive/territorial ones can be kept with boisterous community fish. In fact Angelfish will do better with their own species or with less aggressive tank makes due to their calm temperament.
- African Cichlids – They have become popular in the hobby during the last couple of decades. Couple of reasons for this among others, they have the colours of saltwater fish in freshwater and display amazing parental, breeding and general behaviour right in your home! These are an species only fish and should only be kept with other African Cichlids. Their aggressive nature means you have to provide plenty of hiding places and “overcrowding” is necessary to spread aggression.
Click on the images below to find out more about each type.
Cold water fish species, particularly varieties of Carp were the first fish to become domesticated and kept as pets in the home aquarium. The Goldfish we know today as the most popular pet fish in the world was actually bred from a not so colourful wild Carp over a 1000 years ago in China! The massive array of varieties available today in shops including fancy Goldfish have been produced as a result of mass breeding through out the years. I think it’s safe to say most people at one point or another have had a Goldfish but whether they have provided the correct living conditions is another story, there are many popular myths surrounding the Goldfish some of which I plan to talk about in the page about Goldfish.
The Koi Carp is a bigger relative of the Goldfish but was similarly bred from less colourful wild Carp (this time the Common Carp) in Japan to produce beautiful ornamental fish for ponds and water gardens almost 200 years ago! The Koi today are available in huge colour variations and depending on what size you buy them from are reasonably priced too. Click the images below to find out more about each cold water species.
Setting up Your Aquarium (All freshwater fish)
There are a few points to consider before making an investment into the hobby of keeping African Cichlids. Keeping these fish should not be too difficult nor impossible for the beginner but a little planning ahead has never hurt anybody! Below you can find a list of things to consider which can help you in the long run and hopefully you will be so in love with your new hobby and fish that you just can’t stop! Click on the image below to find more info on setting up your own aquarium.
Cycling and Adding Fish (All freshwater fish)
It’s time to think about your grand design idea! Be as creative as you like with placing your decorations and the colour of your sand! In other words set up the tank of your dreams. You can of course add decors as you go through your cycling process but I prefer to have as much of it as possible set in the tank before I start. Turning harmful Ammonia and Nitrite to less harmful Nitrate (known as the Nitrogen Cycle) however, the major source for these wonder bacteria is your filter. Click the image below to find out more about cycling your tank.
Diseases and Treatment (All freshwater fish)
Unfortunately like all other living things fish are prone to disease through parasites and infections and it is up to us as their keepers to identify and offer the correct treatment to give them the best chance of recovery. Naturally some fish are more tolerant than others but knowing what signs to look for can prove vital in the fishes survival. Click the image below for info on common diseases and how to treat them.
Feeding and Diet (All freshwater fish)
Feeding your fish and watching them eat is probably the most enjoyable part of fish keeping. This is the perfect opportunity to observe their natural behaviour. Overfeeding and underfeeding can have long term negative affects on your fish so knowing the correct amount of food required and what to feed will go a long way in ensuring their long term health. Click the image below for more information about feeding.
Although it may seem like a lot of effort and money for an unnecessary process, having a spare tank cycled and ready to use as a hospital or quarantine tank can go a long way to stopping disease being introduced in your tank when buying new fish and isolating any ill fish in the main tank to treat. It is not a feasible option for many but if you have the means to set one up it is very useful to have. Click the image below to read more about the quarantine process.